Zen to Done (ZTD)

Zen To Done is a time-management system developed by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits , hoping to remedy some of the problems of David Allen's Getting Things Done.

I'm not sure I can explain it better than Leo does, so if you want to just read his original post , feel free. (You won't hurt my feelings). But to summarize:

  • Rather than trying to implement a bunch of habit changes simultaneously (one of the major disadvantages of GTD), ZTD consists of 10 habits, each of which provides a benefit for you as you change them 1 at a time.
  • Rather than assuming you have set goals and know where you're going, ZTD includes some project management aspects as well.
  • Rather than just providing a framework for deciding what to do, ZTD includes habits that involve actually doing these things.
  • Rather than encouraging you to write everything down, ZTD encourages you to eliminate as many tasks as possible -- to get things off your plate, instead of trying to keep track of everything on your plate.
All of this means that ZTD is more structured and less flexible than GTD, but also less complex and detail-oriented. Most people will find it easier to implement.

The Zen-to-Done e-book has more details on how to implement the habits, forms and resources to simplify setting it up, and FAQs.

How does it connect with my calendar?
ZTD uses a calendar to track and remind of you obligations that must take place at a particular time. Any type of calendar will work, so pick one that works with your requirements, but Leo would encourage you to use one as simple as possible -- don't pay $200 for a nifty new smart phone or a fancy day planner if an index card will work just as well (or better).

How does it connect with my to-do list?
Zen To Done uses two levels of to-do lists: the master to-do list that contains everything you need to do, and your daily/weekly Most Important Tasks (MITS). Just about any system will work (although some may take some tweaking; you may have to use your phone's task list for the master and a note for the MITs, for example), so go with whatever you like. (Again, Leo would encourage you to go simple.)

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